Painting by Carl Aldana

August 12, 1958

A crystal clear, fog-free Tuesday evening at 16th and Bryant. A packed Seals Stadium. A rollicking, pennant-hungry crowd with St. Louis in town.

And section 16 was an endless freak show.

“Snappy! Take a picture with me!”
“Who izzit, Snappy? You gotta know by now, right??”
“If they make a Hollywood movie about the killings, make sure they hire me to play you, okay?”

I had this same neo-celebrity problem back in June, but with everything going on since and my name in a few national papers now, it had cranked up to a new decibel. And that was just the fans. Dot and the usherettes were swooning by every other inning. Gus and Russ Nicholson both wanted autographs for their wives. Tall Tom Tupper invited me over for dinner—and he didn’t even cook.

Too bad, because the mayhem caused me to miss most of a great game. Joe Cunningham, the Cards’ outfielder who’s been redbird-hot ever since they parked him at the top of their lineup, hit a two-run homer in the 1st, triples in the 2nd and 5th, a single in the 19th, and a double leading off their 13th to help him hit the cycle for the night.

It was a battle of loser-heads, Sad Sam Jones and Mr. Antonelli, and after Wagner tied the game with a homer in the 7th, it seemed like it might go on forever. Not so. Cunny’s double in the 13th off Gordon Jones was followed by a Musial single and Boyer triple off Giel, and we bombed a chance to gain half a game on the idle Braves. I didn’t care which killer was happy nor angry about the outcome; I was just glad to get out of there, back to my place, platter up Sinatra and hit my favorite bottle.

Then Liz called, to cap it all off.

“Got the new Peanut Killer note going in tomorrow’s edition. Want to hear it?”
“No. But sure.”

She cleared her throat first:

High and tight
With all your might
Snap off a curve
To do what’s right

I let the words sink in, paddle around in the gin.

“Ring any bells?”
“About what?”
“Well, he used your name in it.”
“Yeah…Sort of.”

Actually, the high and tight is what bothered me, for some reason.

“Maybe this is connected to your minor league pitching days.”
“I thought I’d looked into that.”
“Looking deeper probably wouldn’t hurt.”

She had a point. And after 13 innings of the Snappy Drake Seals Show a little road trip to visit Phil Todd wasn’t the worst idea.

THE SKINNYS

STL 300 000 000 000 2 – 5 12 1
S.F. 002 000 100 000 0 – 3 9 1
W-Paine L-Jones HRS: Cunningham, Wagner GWRBI-Boyer

CHI 705 020 200 – 16 21 0
L.A. 101 000 000 – 2 7 2
W-Drott L-Podres HRS: Banks-3, Thomson, Moryn GWRBI-Thomson
Not as close as the score indicates. This game was Chicago’s payback for being trounced here 25-7 on April 23rd. Mr. Cub hits three straight homers and knocks in six, as the Dodgers are now 9-25 since the All-Star break. Yikes.

CIN 205 013 101 – 13 19 1
PHI 001 000 200 – 3 10 1
W-Purkey L-Semproch GWRBI-Pinson
Back to the mashing business for Cincy, who collect six doubles in the game to make life easy for Bob Purkey.

BAL 014 003 000 – 8 12 2
NYY 000 100 000 – 1 5 2
W-Harshman L-Ditmar HRS: Triandos, Howard GWRBI-Harshman
The Birds take both Bronx battles and just might make a race of this yet. Harshman gets his fourth game-winning RBI of the season just for fun.

BOS 500 502 001 – 13 19 0
WAS 000 000 000 – 0 7 2
W-Sullivan L-Ramos HRS: Williams, Lepcio, Runnels GWRBI-Malzone
Road teams won every game today, and this is the fourth absolute blowout. Boston and the Orioles both close to within eight and a half, and Ted Williams has a typical Ted day: six times to the plate, three walks, a single and homer.

CHI 100 000 000 – 1 6 2
CLE 000 000 000 – 0 1 2
W-Latman L-Narleski GWRBI-Lollar
Too bad Barry Latman can’t start that often, because no one ever hits him. In 117 innings, he’s 12-1, with a 2.37 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. Lollar’s sac fly in the 1st is all he needs.

K.C. 300 000 000 – 3 7 0
DET 200 000 000 – 2 7 1
W-Terry L-Lary GWRBI-Ward
Two straight games where no one scores after the 1st, and for the Tigers, it’s a disaster, blowing two straight chances to pick up ground against one of the worst teams in baseball.

PENNANT RACE GRAPHS: Follow the highs and lows in the American and National Leagues, and check out the recent Cincinnati upsurge!

National League through Tuesday, August 12

Milwaukee 62 49 .559
Chicago 62 53 .539 2
San Francisco 60 53 .531 3
Philadelphia 54 56 .491 7.5
St. Louis 53 57 .482 8.5
Cincinnati 54 60 .474 9.5
Pittsburgh 53 60 .469 10
Los Angeles 51 61 .455 11.5

American League through Tuesday, August 12

New York 71 42 .628
Boston 62 50 .554 8.5
Baltimore 62 50 .554 8.5
Chicago 61 52 .540 10
Detroit 57 54 .514 13
Cleveland 58 57 .504 14
Kansas City 45 67 .402 25.5
Washington 35 79 .307 36.5
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